Strawberry Picking: Farms With U-Pick Strawberries (Plus Map!)

There’s nothing like fresh, ripe berries picked in the field! Strawberry picking is such a fun and educational experience for families to enjoy. It is especially easy on little kids because the plants are low to the ground and very accessible for little hands. Use our guide to find U-Pick strawberry fields within driving distance of Chicago. We’ve also have provided gathering tips to make the experience more enjoyable before and after!

Strawberry Farms with U-Pick Strawberries

The strawberry season usually begins in mid-June and continues for 3–4 weeks depending on the weather and how many people come to pick. This can vary with weather patterns, so it is best to check with the farm you are planning to visit to find out when they expect to open for the season.

Most farms recommend checking their Facebook page or calling beforehand for more up-to-date information regarding their crops. We have provided the most up-to-date information possible for each farm, but please call ahead or check their site for further information.

Strawberry Picking Map

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Places to Pick Strawberries

Johnson’s Farm Produce
8960 East Ridge Road
Hobart, IN 46342
(219) 962-1383

  • U-Pick begins June 11, 2018.
  • Strawberry Madness Festival every weekend in June with activities.
  • $2 donation per person for entry.
  • Hours: Monday-Saturday 8:00 am – 7:00 pm, Sunday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm.
  • Call before arrival to be sure strawberries are ripe and still available.

Tom’s Farm Market
10214 Algonquin Road
Huntley, IL 60142
(847) 669-3421

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 15, 2018; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Monday – Friday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday 9:00 – 5:00 pm.

Wiltse’s Farm Produce & Greenhouses
50 W 379 State Route 38
Maple Park, IL 60151
(815) 739-6179

  • U-Pick Target Date: 1st or 2nd weekend of June; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Stade’s Farm and Market
3709 West Miller Road
McHenry, IL 60051
(815) 675-6396

  • U-Pick Target Date: Mid-June; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Price: $4 for a 1-quart basket, $6 for 2-quart basket, $12 for a 4-quart basket.
  • A $4 minimum strawberry purchase per person is required to enter the strawberry patch.
  • Hours: Daily 8:30 am – 5:00 pm.

Cody’s Farm
19502 River Road
Marengo, IL 60152
(815) 568-7976

  • U-Pick Target Date: 2nd week of June; check Facebook or call for exact date.

Thompson’s Strawberry Farm
14000 75th Street
Bristol, WI 53104
(262) 857-2353

  • U-Pick Target Date: Middle of June; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Price: $9 per 4 quart basket (cash only), pick 6 baskets and pay for 5 baskets.
  • Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 am – 6:00 pm, Saturday-Sunday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Heider’s Berry Farm
1100 North Queen Anne Road
Woodstock, IL 60098
(815) 338-0301

  • U-Pick Target Date: Middle of June; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Daily 8:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Olive Berry Acres
2575 West Mine Road
Mazon, IL 60444
(815) 474-6511

  • Hours: Monday – Tuesday CLOSED, Wednesday – Friday 9:00 am – 2:00 pm, Saturday – Sunday  9:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Susie’s Garden Patch
6828 Pleasant Street
Garden Prairie, IL 61038
(815) 597-3011

  • U-Pick Target Date: Mid-June; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, Sunday 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm.

Guelde Strawberries
4779 East 1525th Road
Earlville, IL 60518
(815) 228-9603

  • U-Pick Target Date: Mid-June; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Hours: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

Mary’s Berries
9495 E 1500N Road
Momence, IL 60954
(815) 472-6015

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 7 or 8, 2018- call or exact date.
  • Call for hours and days of U-Pick berries.

Rosey’s Berry Farm
1066 N 1150 West
Michigan City, IN 46360
(219) 874-2981

  • U-Pick Target Date: Mid-June; check Facebook or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Daily 7:00 am – 6:00 pm.

Berryville Farm
424 13th Avenue
Racine, WI 53403
(262) 498-6648

  • U-Pick Target Date: Late June; check Facebook or call or exact date.

Garwood Orchards & Farm Markets
5911 West 50 South
La Porte, IN 46350
(219) 362-4385

  • U-Pick Target Date: June 8 or 9, 2018; check web site or call for exact date.
  • Hours: Daily 9:00 am – 5:30 pm.

Blue Clay Berry Farm
5154 State Rd 50
Delavan, WI 53115
(262) 745-3720

  • U-Pick Target Date: Mid-Jun; check Facebook or call for exact date.

Radical Root U-Pick Strawberries
31330 N Milwaukee Avenue
Libertyville, IL 60048
(779) 400-5852

  • U-Pick Target Date: Mid-June; check Facebook or call in June for update.
  • Hours: Wednesday & Sunday 9:30 am – 2:00 pm.
  • Offering organic U-Pick strawberries.

Planning Your Strawberry Picking Trip

Always call before you go picking to verify hours and crop availability. Ask if the fields are picked over or still have a decent amount of strawberries left to pick. Some fields are picked clean by lunchtime on the weekends! It is important to know that the length of the season is greatly affected by the weather, especially with berries.

Some farms do not supply containers, while others require that you use their supplied containers. Find out what your chosen farm prefers and be prepared.

I also recommend asking when the fields were sprayed. Sometimes, freshly sprayed farms make it less appetizing for sampling as you pick. It’s way more fun, especially for the kids, to pick if you can taste along the way!

Things to Bring Strawberry Picking

Consider the heat and sun while picking. There often aren’t trees around strawberry fields so the berries can receive full sun, which means you will get full sun too! This may mean wearing a hat while picking, wearing sunscreen, and light clothing. You may also want to bring or apply bug spray before going as well.

Pack water, and drink often!

Bring a picnic lunch, or at least a snack and a blanket to eat on.

Don’t wear nice clothes or shoes. Especially with kids you almost always get strawberry juice on your clothes. Usually there is straw or mulch between the rows of plants, but depending on how much rain there has been, there could be mud underneath too.

Strawberry Picking Tips

Unripe berries will not ripen once picked, so pick strawberries that are bright red (no white tips) but pass up the ones that have bruises or are mushy. The size of the strawberry will not affect its sweetness.

Many strawberries ripen under the leaves of the plant, so it helps to gently lift the leaves to look towards the center of the plant.

Strawberries keep better if you pick them with the cap and stem on. Pull the strawberry at the stem with a slight twist and it should come off with the cap and stem. Don’t stress about it too much though because they are still fine without the cap and stem.

When You Get Home

Don’t wash your strawberries until you are ready to eat them. Washing makes them more prone to spoiling. Wash in cool water to remove dirt and store in the refridgerator.

To freeze your strawberries: wash and hull them (cut off the green part and remove the core), dry them really well by patting them dry or laying them out to dry on your counter. Lay them on a cookie sheet covered in wax paper and put in freezer. When completely frozen, transfer them into ziplock bags, removing as much air as you can. Strawberries will be slightly mushier than other frozen fruits when unfrozen, but they are still delicious. Berries can keep for months in the freezer, so don’t hesitate to freeze extras!

For more ways to get out and enjoy the fresh air as a family, check out our outdoor activities page.

About the Author

Jill Kowalski
Jill is the mom of two energetic little girls, ages two and four, who keep her seriously busy. She and her husband grew up in Orland Park and are now raising their family there as well. When Jill and her family have free time, they love to check out local parks or drop-in at fests where their girls can take over a dance floor. She is always looking for cheap, yet entertaining and worthwhile things to do. When she is not wrangling her kids, Jill has a passion for starting, and sometimes finishing, do-it-yourself home improvement projects, trying out random recipes she finds on Pinterest, and organizing every nook and cranny of her life.

2 Comments on "Strawberry Picking: Farms With U-Pick Strawberries (Plus Map!)"

  1. We can’t wait to try this…never have. Would you mind sharing a favorite of these? There are so many to choose from!

    • We have gone to Thompsons and had a good experience there, but I’m considering trying a new place to explore and compare. I’ve definitely learned how important it is to call before going. The two most important things to ask in my opinion are: When is the last time you sprayed? (I don’t feel good about my kids sampling berries as they pick if the fields were just sprayed the day before) and How are the picking conditions? If it’s towards the end of their season there is a good possibility that picking will be frustrating and you will spend more time bending over and searching for berries compared to actually picking. That happened to us last year because we went too late.

      Maybe others can chime in too?

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